5 Steps to Make Cleaning out Your Closet Easier Forever

5 Steps to Make Cleaning out Your Closet Easier, cleaning out your closetCleaning out our closets are necessary from time to time. It could be for the change in season. Or you moved and don’t have as much closet space. Perhaps you needed to revamp your style or got a new job. Whatever your reason this task has to be done. Cleaning out your closet can be a tedious and time heavy process. But it doesn’t have to be.

Over the years I developed a process to help keep my closet full of items that I love and work seamlessly into my everyday life. Oh, I’m sharing. It’s helped me to enjoy going through my closet and make the process quicker every time.

Here are 5 steps to purging your closet that will make the process easier and leave you with a more functional outcome. These are not the typical steps that will just tell you to throw out anything you haven’t worn in a month. This steps will help you get to the why. In the end, you will have a more tailored closet that speaks to your personal fashion sense and lifestyle.


1| Define a Purpose

Any transition in life is defined by a purpose. The same rings true for your closet. Before you go all Van Hansel on your current wardrobe situation, take a step back. Then write down three ways your closet doesn’t work for you and three ways it does. After, write down three ways you want your clothing to work better for you. This gives you a clear plan and guidelines. So when you get to an item you can’t quite decide what to do with, refer back to this plan. You can see my lists below.

My 3 Ways List

Not working

  1. Lacking some key basics like white tees, more turtlenecks
  2. Not enough winter footwear
  3. Not having a staple everyday bag in a neutral color

Working

  1. My denim. They are all great quality, fit well & do double duty.
  2. My Jackets. I have a good range for each season & they’re all very versatile
  3. The fit. All my items fit really well, they hug me comfortably in all the right places

Needs Improvement

  1. Tops selections. I never feel like I have a good range of tops ever. This has been a constant issue for me that I intend to resolve this year
  2. I have a little bin of belts but most are completely useless for everyday use
  3. More color.

2| Pick out your favorite/most worn items

Once you pick out your favorite and most worn items.Make three piles. One for your favorite items, one for your most worn items and one for items that fit both. The reason for this? Sometimes you have a piece that’s your favorite but you don’t wear it as often as you like. It could be something you tend to only wear on special occasions or out to dinner. You may have items you get a lot of wear out of because they’re comfortable or they fit you okay. However, these pieces may not be ones you love or complement your body best.

Analyze them. Why are they your favorite? Is it the material? The style? The color? Maybe you’re able to wear it in multiple ways and across multiple settings. I really find this part helpful because it starts to identify your shopping habits and what you gravitate towards. This all leads to helping to cultivate and hone it on your personal style. These will also be the pieces you’ll most likely keep and measure the rest of wardrobe against.


3| Check for items that can be fixed/repurposed

We have a lot of pieces we count out because they need a little TLC. It could an item continue to work for you if you took it to a tailor. Could a pair of shoes be picked up by getting the bottoms resoled or a pair of jeans turned into shorts? Maybe a white top could be saved with a little oxy clean? Take the extra minute to see if you’d love to keep the item if you made a small tweak.


4| Create or Visualize Outfits

This is my favorite part. I love creating outfits and visualizing. It makes it easy to see what I am missing from my wardrobe, what pieces I’m struggling to style or what pieces are doing double duty.  For example, I have this trench style sleeveless vest by Trouve that I have a million ideas for how to wear. On the flip side, I have this beautiful beaded white top that I’m never drawn to wear. The top is beautiful, fits well but I know it just doesn’t belong in my closet.

You can even take the time to pin a few favorite looks or flip through a magazine or check out your favorite influencers Instagram for inspiration. If you need help in this area call up your best girlfriend or even seek out a personal stylist.


5| Forgotten Gem, Hidden Potential or donate?

Now that you’ve made a plan, picked out your favorite pieces and created a few ideal outfits. Use those as a guide to finish cleaning out your closet.

Make three piles:

The Forgotten gem: Pieces you forgot you had but still love and have 3 three ways you could wear it

Hidden Potential: Pieces you’re on the fence about. Sometimes we need a bit more time to make a decision. Plan to give yourself the next month to wear it and if not get rid of it for good.

Donate/Sell: These are items that just don’t work for you and you need to give a new home. You can decide to donate to a local shelter, church or The Salvation Army. Or you can decide to sell items to a consignment shop or on an app like Poshmark.

 

The Most Comfortable Sports Bra Ever

sports bra, calvin klein, chill sunday outfit
sports bra, calvin klein, chill sunday outfit

This past week I’d been really drained. I have so many things in the work so when Sunday rolled around I just wanted to chill. I didn’t have much to do except recover from a pretty bad allergic reaction, run a few errands and wait for Games of Thrones. Can we talk about this season?!  I love the dragons and I’m obsessed with Arya. She’s everything.I’m so ready for next week’s episode.

As you can see I had a chill Sunday. I decided to sport my sports bra by Calvin Klein. The love I have for it is so real and it is by far one of the comfiest things I own. It’s probably not that great for working out but it is for lounging around. Or styling as a part of your outfit. Some days we just have to ditch the standard bra.

My American Apparel skirt paired well and the material is just as comfortable. I was pretty sad when I heard they were going out of business. I definitely lived in American Apparel during college. It was literally the first store I ran to when I needed a “going out” outfit. However, I am happy they relaunched their online store.

The all white was very unintentional. My mind might have still been lingering on my birthday dress. Since I am me I had to bring in some color. I really love how a cobalt blue and fuschia shade of pink compliment one another. Wearing bright colors instantly makes me feel more positive. When I feel positive I’m more productive and everything just flows easier. It’s such a small thing but the impact is amazing.

What’s your favorite way to help increase positivity and productivity? Leave it in a comment

sports bra, calvin klein, chill sunday outfit

 

Outfit Details

Sports Bra by Calvin Klein

Skirt by American Apparel

Shoes by Missguided

Bag by Dolce & Gabbana

sports bra, calvin klein, chill sunday outfit

Shop The Sports Bra


4 Goals for 26 + The Perfect Birthday Dress

the birthday dress, life goals, 4 goals for 26the birthday dress, life goals, 4 goals for 26

This is the fourth year that I’m sharing my birthday outfit. It’s crazy to me that this is the fourth year I’ve been blogging. Last year was all about my version of the birthday suit. However, I’m infamous for the birthday dresses and went back to my roots this year.

This Mara Hoffman dress is the perfect birthday dress. It’s sexy, comfortable and classy. Ms. Hoffman really nailed this one. Unfortunately, it’s sold out now but I shared a few of my favorite picks below. I wore this dress to my b-day dinner on Martha’s Vineyard but I didn’t get a chance to take any photos. So I recreated the look and shot these photos with my brother.

The dress is so beautiful and a statement piece on its own that I kept the accessories to a minimal. I added a dose of glam with my baublebar choker and chose a simple sandal since I was on the island. My usual stilettos wouldn’t fair well with the amount of walking and sand. * sad face* Every year I love getting to celebrate with my friends but I also love taking the time to set new goals.

I know some people like to set goals in January for the new year. That’s great. Personally, I like to set them on my birthday. It’s the perfect opportunity to reflect and look at the path I’m on in life.

I do set goals early in the year for my finances, the blog, and my career. These are personal goals so they’re a bit different.Goals I feel will make me a better person, enrich my life and those around me. They are much more intimate. If you’re a long time reader of the blog ( I appreciate you) then you know I’ve done this before. This year the number four has been a reoccurring theme in my life. Therefore, I decided to set four goals. Plus it’s my favorite number.


My Goals This Year

 

1| Start dancing again and participate in one performance

I grew up dancing and I love ballet. It’s always been my favorite but it’s been years since I stepped into a dance studio. Which is so weird for me because I spent most of my life in dance studios and performing. I really do miss it and it’s a great way for me to be active.

2| Become a mentor to at least 2 young women in my community
This one is really dear to me. I’ve always been pretty involved in community service and mentoring throughout high school and college. The last few years though I haven’t made much time for it but it has to change. While I was in Martha’s Vineyard I mention this to Sami and Karol so now I’m going to take action. I’ve always enjoyed being a mentor and empowering young women. I believe we should be pillars in our community and strive to find a balance between giving and taking.

3| Write at least 2 chapters a month of my future books

If you watched my “Get to Know Me” video then you know writing books is one of my long term goals. I’ve started books in the past or wrote short stories but I’ve never really made a plan. However, I did come up with this amazing character who story I really want to write and the file has just been sitting on my computer untouched for a few months. As of late I’ve been devoting most of my time to the blog and growing my business but I’m determined to start making more time for my writing. I can’t promise this time next year I’ll have a full book written but I will be much further ahead than I am now.

4| Working at my own pace and staying grateful

I know this isn’t a S.M.A.R.T goal but not all personal goals have to be. The world moves so fast, time passes by so quickly that we can think we’re failing if we’re not achieving all our goals at once or living a certain lifestyle. As long as I’m working every day to build a full life, I’ll get to my goals right on time. In the meantime, I’m going to be grateful for the love, the success, the friends, and the memories I have at the moment.

the birthday dress, life goals, 4 goals for 26


 

Outfit Details

Dress by Mara Hoffman

Choker by Baublebar

Shoes by Nine West



Shop My Mara Hoffman Picks


the birthday dress, life goals, 4 goals for 26

Photos by Summers Photography

5 Lip Colors to Try This Month

lip color, lipsticks, colors to try this month

Trying a new lip color is the easiest way to spruce up our makeup routine. It’s also the one thing that is still great to wear in the warmer months, unlike our heavy foundations. This is a curated list of 5 lip colors you need to try this month.

Each of these colors is amazing in their own right from the creamy earthy tones of mosh pit to the rich burgundy of Trust Issues. Oh, let’s not forget they are all great colors to help transition back into fall makeup. So mix and match to create your perfect summer to fall lip color.

Click the links below to Shop

 1| Trust Issues by Anastasia Beverly Hills

This has become a staple color for me this summer. You’ve probably seen me wear it so much on the blog. I love the richness of the color and how easily it pairs with everything.

 2| Sinful Cinnamon by Buxom

This is a great nude tone for a variety of skin tones. It’s a gel formula so it goes on super smooth and doesn’t leave your lips feeling dry. You’ll forget that you’re even wearing it.

3| Soul by Coloured Raine

If you’re looking for a cool tone lip color you can wear all year round, this is it.  If you do a bold eye look or a simple coat of mascara this color will compliment either.

4| Mosh Pit by Colourpop

This lippie stix is great for a natural everyday lip. The creamy texture goes on like butter to give you a perfect matte lip.

5| Thistle by Bite Beauty

A beautiful pale purple that is a great way to do a fun colorful lip this summer.


Retail Hotspot: Ivy Revel Has Your End of Summer Deals

Ivy Revel

We may be getting late into the summer season but there is plenty of time to do a little more summer shopping. If you have a vacay coming up or an end of summer brunch or concerts, Ivy Revel has you covered.

With 70% off you’ll be sure to find something you love at a steal of the price. This brand is all about catering to the modern, edgy and cool girl. Pair their pieces with some bold sandals and cat eye sunglasses. You’ll be ready for all the end of summer fun.

 

 


Click the Image to Shop

Ivy Revel, summer deals, end of summer sales, vacay outfits

 

Ivy Revel, summer deals, end of summer sales, vacay outfits

 

Ivy Revel, summer deals, end of summer sales, vacay outfits

 

Ivy Revel, summer deals, end of summer sales, vacay outfits

 

 

 

 

Ivy Revel, summer deals, end of summer sales, vacay outfits

 

Ivy Revel, summer deals, end of summer sales, vacay outfits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Images belong to Ivy Revel

Pin Up Vibes | Summer Vacation Outfit

summer vacation outfit

summer vacation outfit

 

I never thought summering in the Vineyard would be a thing. At least not for me. However, when one of my favorite people of all time moved out there it changed the game. This was my second summer heading out to Martha’s Vineyard and we did a really fun girls trip for my birthday. It was great to spend time with my two best friends and just relax. We all work so much it can be hard to find time for us to all hangout. When I get to spend time with Sami and Karol it’s always an amazing time.We took lots of photos and video so you’ll get a peek into the celebration all this week. Be sure to subscribe to the youtube channel to know when my travel diary and vlogs of the trip go up.

Sami is a photographer and spotted this old school chevy truck. We had to stop. Actually, she whipped the car around so quickly Karol and I thought something was wrong. Instead, she turned and said, ” we have to shoot your look here”. It really was perfect and lent to the pin up vibes of my outfit.

Of course being on an island warrants the right kind of summer vacation outfit. Most importantly the right kind of shoes. I went for cute sandals with a minimal heel. I really loved the style of my Nine West sandals because the wedge heel adds a bit of elegance while also being comfortable to walk in. Big floppy hats for summer will always be a must in my book. Pairing geometric patterned hat really made the look pop. Not to mention it was great to product my hair and skin from the sun.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes and the sweet comments you leave. It really makes my day. If you are on the email list you got a special treat on my birthday. If you’re not on the list sign up below so you don’t miss out on exclusives. Let me know where you all are traveling this summer.

The Details

Floppy Hat by Aldo | Shop Similar

Shorts by Wrangler

Top by Express

Shoe by Nine West | Love these, these, & these

Bag by Gucci

summer vacation outfit

Shop Floppy Summer Hats

summer vacation outfit
Photos by Samantha DeCoteau & Summers Photography

Elevate Your Style in August | Note From Lay

Elevate Your StyleCan you believe it’s August? It also means I’m another year older today.I remember growing up loving to imitate my mom and grandma’s style. I still look at old pictures of them for inspiration. Our style is something that grows and changes as we do. That’s why every year around this time I evaluate my goals and closet to make sure they’re aligned.

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” -Coco Chanel

This month I wanted to focus on ways to elevate your style. This is a topic I wanted to address for a long time on the blog. I believe clothes, fashion and style are able to give us a voice and create a story without words. You have the ability to say so much about yourself in what you wear and how you wear it. It’s because of these reasons I’m so passionate about helping women feel empowered in their personal style.

So we will be talking about wardrobe staples, how to elevate your shoe game and more. There will also be new beauty posts. Don’t worry.

If you’re interested in working with me on developing your style, sign up here.

5 Easy Summer Reads | The July Book List

july book list, reading list, summer reading

It’s that time again, to share my latest reads. I’m thrilled to know you all are enjoying these posts. I was very impressed by this group of books. And I’m sure Caspida from the Forbidden Wish and Elisa from The Girls of Fire and Thorns are my new favorite characters.The waterworks were full on while reading Vianne and Isabelle’s stories in The Nightingale. If you follow me on snapchat then you know how much I talked about this book.

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a discussion video on my youtube channel to go along with each month’s book list. That way we can talk more in depth about the books. So it’s sorta like a book club. Let know if that’s something you’d enjoy.  Also, let me know what you’re reading this month.

Past Book Lists

July Book List
The Rose and the Dagger (Wrath and the Dawn Series #2),july book list, reading list, summer reading1| The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

Rating: 3 stars

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: This is the second book in the Wrath & the Dawn Duology. We continue on with Shahrzad, Khalid and Tariq’s stories as they try to stave off a war and break a dark curse.

My Thoughts: I’ve come to the conclusion that this duology is just not for me. I just didn’t connect with the characters and the story. I did rate it 3 stars because of Renée’s writing, she really is an amazing writer. Her words flow so easily and are beautifully woven together. I also enjoyed the world building, I want to eat the food, wear the clothes and take rides on a magic carpet. Tariq, Irsa, and Artan are also why I gave it three stars, I enjoyed these secondary characters so much.


The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Girl of Fire and Thorns Series #1),july book list, reading list, summer reading2| The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Rating: 4 Stars

Genre: High Fantasy

Summary: This is the first book of a trilogy that follows Elisa, a young princess, as she navigates her new marriage, becoming queen of a foreign nation and the dangers that come along with understanding her destiny.

My Thoughts: This was a little gem of a book. I the really loved the main character, Elisa, she was great. She really learns from her mistakes and experiences to become a leader and more confident young woman. There were a few plot twists that I didn’t expect so I’m very curious to see how the story plays out over the next two books. Rae Carson really impressed me with the diversity and body positive images she portrayed in her characters.


Up to 40% Off New & Bestseller Fiction Books

Let Summer Reading Take You Places with Books for All Ages! Shop BN.com

The Nightingale, july book list, reading list, summer reading
3| The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Rating: 5 Stars

Genre: Historical Fiction

Summary: The tale of two estranged sisters who embark on dangerous but important missions during War II and the Nazi’s occupation. It is during these trying time that they rekindle their sisterhood, find love and test their own strength.

My Thoughts: This was such a hauntingly beautiful story and it made me cry a few times. Kristin Hannah paints such heart-wrenching scenes with short but impactful sentences. You can feel the emotion of the characters bleeding off the page. Just read this book. Gosh, I really loved Vianne and Isabelle, they are everything you could ask for in a character. Their stories are heartbreaking, courageous and daring. It was nice to see a light shined on the women and their contributions during the war effort but also painful. There were so many moments I had to pause my reading to really think about the implications and consequences when we have leaders with hateful agendas. I did love being able to escape back into the world of France and the beautiful moments Kristin Hannah was able to create even in the midst of a war torn country.


The Forbidden Wish, july book list, reading list, summer reading 4| The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Rating: 4 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: A Jinni and a boy from the streets cross paths and the most unlikely friendship and love story ensues.

My Thoughts: Aladdin is one of my all time favorite stories. I love retellings of it. Therefore, The Forbidden Wish was on my radar immediately.  Jessica Khoury did a really nice job with it, it’s the perfect read for lounging on a Sunday. Her writing is easy, quick and entertaining. Aladdin was so charming, I loved how she wrote him and Caspida is my new favorite heroine. She’s such a badass.


The Archived (Archived Series #1), july book list, reading list, summer reading5| The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Rating: 4 Stars

Genre: Fantasy/Mystery

Summary: Mackenzie is a keeper in the Archive. A mystery world where the memories of the dead known as histories are shelved and the past protected. When Mackenzie discovers that someone is altering these histories she goes on a hunt to discover who and why.

My Thoughts: Growing up mystery novels were my favorite. I couldn’t get enough of Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie which is definitely why I enjoyed this book. It’s not the most complex mystery but the world is so interesting and Victoria’s writing is beautiful. The magical element lent to the mystery story makes it such a perfect weekend read. Wesley is the most charming leading a girl could ask for. I really appreciated how Victoria shined a light on grief and loss and how it affects each of us so differently. This is what makes the story so rich and Mackenzie relatable as a character.


 

The New Sephora Studio on Newbury St.

sephora studio

sephora studioWhen we walked into the new Sephora Studio on Newbury St. the first thing I noticed was the cool decor. I loved the floor tiles, chic wall quotes, and backlit photos. I didn’t even notice the size was smaller than a typical Sephora store.

My best friend, Sami, came into the city for the Kendrick Lamar concert and needed an outfit. Lucky her, she has a best friend for a stylist. If you guys are in the market for a fashion stylist, sign up here to get an email when I’m taking new clients. We decided to hit up some shops on Newbury St and were surprised to see that this new Sephora Studio had opened. So ya’ll know I had to check it out. Not to mention they were giving out free mini makeovers. Sami ended up doing a full makeover and she loved it. The Sephora crew were helpful, friendly and super relaxed.

Since we were going to be shopping all afternoon I opted for a really simple and easy outfit. I was so surprised by how many compliments this look got that I had Sami take a few shots to share with you all. I’m lucky to have a photographer for a best friend. We had so much hanging together and shopping, I’ll have a vlog up soon. So be sure to subscribe to the youtube channel.

Are you guys feeling these new mini chic Sephoras?

The Details
Top by Lumiére
Shorts by Urban Outfitters
Bag by Dolce & Gabbana
Shoes by Louis et Cie | Shop Similar

Tip: When wearing a sheer top with thin straps place a bandeau ( love this one) underneath. It will give support and you won't have to worry about bra straps ruining your outfit.

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Shop My Sephora Picks

sephora studio, sephora newbury st, sephora bostonsephora studio, sephora newbury st, sephora boston

Photos by Samantha DeCoteau & Summers Photography

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